When reflecting on the annals of film history, one cannot help but remember the most outrageous, over-the-top monologues from movies ever put to celluloid. And we're not talking about the most well-acted or the best-written monologues here - solely the ones that stick out in the memory as just a little bit excessive. Some are comedic, some are dramatic, some are inspiring. All of them are over-the-top.
You can be sure that actors with a penchant for chewing scenery are going to make an appearance here - we're looking at you, Samuel L. Jackson, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson. Comedic favorites like John Belushi and Chevy Chase are also in the mix, while film greats like George C. Scott and Peter Finch also get a shout out. If you're being just a little bit "extra," you're getting an invite. Have fun voting, and make sure to tip your waiters.
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Your mileage may vary with Mel Gibson's accent in Braveheart, but you can't deny his charisma. He rode into our hearts on horseback with a wild haircut, blue face paint, and a glorious kilt. This 1995 historical epic was a massive hit, and with a scene as inspirational as Gibson's speech just before the climax of the film, it is easy to see why. We kind of want to paint our faces, braid our hair, and jump into the struggle with him.
Run, and you'll live. At least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance - just one chance - to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives... but they'll never take our freedom!
Say what you want about the controversial Mel Gibson as a human being, but that speech causes goosebumps to this day.278Over the top?
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
"You think water's fast? You should see ice." So begins an infamous Sam Jackson monologue that ends in the way only a late '90s horror schlockfest can: with a CGI shark chomping down on the legendary thespian. Deep Blue Sea has zero interest in making you care for its characters, and this moment is undeniable proof of that. This speech, initially seeming to be a rallying cry for the human crew in the fight of their lives against hyper-intelligent sharks, has only gotten more hilarious over time.
As the colorful cast of characters begins to turn on each other, Jackson's Russell Franklin begins pontificating about his personal experience surviving an avalanche. By the time it's over, he is being unconvincingly dragged into the water by a shark as the actors who portray his crewmates provide some of the most lackluster reaction shots in film history. For pure comedy, we give this monologue a 10 out of 10.247Over the top?
- Photo: Columbia Pictures
Aaron Sorkin is best known nowadays for creating The West Wing and for writing films like The Social Network and Steve Jobs, but the project that put him on the map was A Few Good Men. And the success of that film, like the play it was adapted from, hinges on the tension of the final courtroom engagement at the end. And if you're looking for a great shouting match, you could do worse than watching Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise yell at each other.
"You can't handle the truth!" has become one of the most indelible film lines in recent memory, and its staying power all comes down to Nicholson's unflinching performance as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup. "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it." There is such venom in Nicholson's voice when he utters those words; it's incredible literal daggers aren't shooting out of his eyes. We can't help but eat it all up.2714Over the top?
- Photo: Miramax Films
The moment Samuel L. Jackson went from underappreciated character actor to big-name star can be directly traced to one moment in time, and it all started with a quote from the Bible: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men." Whether you prefer Jules Winnfield's Bible recitation from the opening or the ending of the film is irrelevant as Jackson's gravitas - mixed with one heck of a Jheri curl - makes both scenes feel grounded and over-the-top at the same time.
Quentin Tarantino's penchant for monologues was on full display in Pulp Fiction, and Jackson makes the screen pop with his intense line readings. Ignore all the pop culture references, dancing, and aggression... the most memorable thing about Tarantino's 1994 magnum opus is Jackson flexing his monologuing muscles. We wouldn't have the Nick Fury we know and love today without Jules Winnfield.2512Over the top?